Harris County charity group brightens Thanksgiving for hundreds of hungry families

HARRIS COUNTY, Ga — Many people talk about doing volunteer work during the holidays, but there’s a special group in Harris County putting their intentions into action for thirty years now. The FOCUS group continues a tradition of changing lives.

“It’s for a good cause,” says Jake Wiley.

For sixth grader Jake Wiley, it’s a field trip. A lesson greater than any textbook or lecture could teach.

His mother Gwen brought him from their home on Fort Benning to Harris County’s Community Center to join the efforts to stuff Thanksgiving food bags for families in need.

“I homeschool him, so that gives us a lot of opportunities to volunteer and teach him to give back to the communities that he lives in,” says Gwen Wiley.

The Wiley’s were among an estimated 120 volunteers who spent their Friday here volunteering for FOCUS — the Fellowship of Christians United in Service. And when FOCUS says this is the culmination of a community effort, they truly mean it.

“The Rotary Club always comes through at Thanksgiving time and gives us a large donation. Several of the subdivisions, individuals are very generous,” Julie Nordin, FOCUS Food Chairman.

And what you’re seeing here is the cultivation of a three decades long tradition. For 30 years, FOCUS has provided Thanksgiving meals to the community.  Volunteer Peggy Allen says being here was important to her.

“Yes, and impact a lot of people, especially the elderly, who are shut-in and can’t get out,” Allen says.

FOCUS purchased all of the food through Feeding the Valley Food Bank. CEO Frank Sheppard says he’s touched to see a partner agency in action with such tremendous community support.

“We appreciate the volunteers through FOCUS. It’s a tremendous partner agency that is really growing in this area to help more people in need,” Sheppard says.

Helping more people in need through keeping alive a 30 year tradition of kindness and caring through action – – –

“I’m happy, and Happy Thanksgiving,” says Jake Wiley.

One that grows every year.

Along with a wide range of fruits, vegetable, soups, and stews,  the 303 families who benefited from the FOCUS food bounty also received a baking hen. The families were given the food Saturday.

Those families applied for the program and were chosen according to need.

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